Tag Archives: Airbus A321-231 WL

JetBlue announces a new tentative agreement on negotiations with TWU

"Fly Like You Mint It"

JetBlue Airways has announced it has reached a new tentative agreement with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) for JetBlue’s inflight crewmembers.

“We’re pleased to share that the JetBlue and TWU negotiating committees have reached a new tentative agreement,” said Ed Baklor, head of customer care and programs, JetBlue. “Our inflight crewmembers have been on the frontline supporting and protecting JetBlue’s operation and our customers through the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am proud of the TWU and JetBlue teams for recognizing our environment and coming to the table with solutions. We look forward to bringing this contract to a vote with our inflight crewmembers.”

Top Copyright Photo: JetBlue Airways Airbus A321-231 WL N993JE (msn 814) (Prism) LAS (Gunter Mayer). Image: 955790.

JetBlue aircraft slide show:

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Finnair’s August traffic was up 38.1% versus 2020, up 24.6% over July

Finnair Airbus A321-231 WL OH-LZU (msn 8401) ZRH (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 954917.

Finnair issued this traffic report for August:

Continued improvement in most passenger traffic figures although the COVID-19 pandemic impact still visible in August, another strong month for cargo

In August, Finnair carried 266,500 passengers, which was 38.1% more than in August 2020. The COVID-19 impact was already clearly visible then as Finnair operated a limited network due to strict and extensive travel restrictions. The number of passengers in August 2021 was 24.6% more than in July 2021.

The COVID-19 impact, including the strict travel restrictions imposed by several countries, still affected all passenger traffic figures. It was particularly visible in the North Atlantic and Asian figures.

The overall capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) increased in August by 63.3% year-on-year and by 17.0% month-on-month. Finnair operated 127 daily flights (cargo-only included) on average, which was 9.5% more than in August 2020 and 19.8% more than in July 2021. The differences between capacity figures compared to August 2020 are explained by the longer average stage length of flights operated and by the larger gauge of aircraft operated. Finnair’s traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs), increased by 64.6% year-on-year and by 15.9% month-on-month. The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) increased by 0.3% points to 42.0% year-on-year but decreased by 0.4% points month-on-month.

The ASK increase in Asian traffic was 7.4% year-on-year. In North Atlantic traffic, the ASKs increased by 100.0% as there were no passenger flights in August 2020. In European traffic, the ASKs were up by 28.8%. The ASKs in domestic traffic increased by 0.4%.

RPKs decreased in Asian traffic by 12.9% year-on-year but increased in North Atlantic traffic by 100.0%, in European traffic by 53.6% and in domestic traffic by 14.4%.

The PLF was 19.7% in Asian traffic but it was supported by the strong cargo operations and a high cargo load factor. The PLF was 28.3% in North Atlantic traffic, 63.0% in European traffic and 71.6% in domestic traffic.

Passenger numbers decreased in Asian traffic by 11.5% year-on-year but increased in North Atlantic traffic by 100.0%, in European traffic by 43.7% and in domestic traffic by 5.5%.

In August, available scheduled cargo tonne kilometres increased by 127.7% year-on-year (increased by 7.0% month-on-month) and revenue scheduled cargo tonne kilometres increased by 99.2% (increased by 0.2% month-on-month), both due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on scheduled flights especially in North Atlantic traffic in August 2020. Cargo related available tonne kilometres increased by 81.9% year-on-year (increased by 1.1% month-on-month) and revenue tonne kilometres increased by 70.5% (decreased by 5.5% month-on-month) and they both also include the cargo-only flights operated mainly between Europe and Asia as well as Europe and North America. Cargo-only tonnes were up by 11.1% year-on-year but down by 19.2% month-on-month. The total cargo tonnes increased by 61.9% year-on-year but decreased by 5.1% month-on-month. Demand for the cargo capacity remained strong especially in Asian traffic. As a result, the cargo load factor remained high.

In August, 90.7% of all Finnair flights arrived on schedule (96.0%).

Traffic statistics for September 2021 will be published on Thursday 7 October 2021.

Finnair Traffic Performance August 2021
Month % Change YTD % Change
Total traffic
Passengers 1,000 266.5 38.1 1,031.2 -66.6
Available seat kilometres mill 1,103.8 63.3 4,666.6 -58.3
Revenue passenger kilometres mill 463.9 64.6 1,605.1 -79.0
Passenger load factor % 42.0 0.3p 34.4 -33.8p
Cargo tonnes total 6,557.1 61.9 53,784.6 11.7
Available tonne kilometres mill 194.1 53.6 1,229.1 -36.0
Revenue tonne kilometres mill 90.1 67.9 540.7 -45.7
Passengers 1,000 Asia 7.9 -11.5 38.3 -92.0
Available seat kilometres mill Asia 298.8 7.4 2,000.7 -61.5
Revenue passenger kilometres mill Asia 59.0 -12.9 288.4 -92.2
Passenger load factor % Asia 19.7 -4.6p 14.4 -56.5p
Passengers 1,000 Europe 197.6 43.7 657.0 -64.1
Available seat kilometres mill Europe 458.2 28.8 1,687.7 -62.2
Revenue passenger kilometres mill Europe 288.4 53.6 935.2 -67.5
Passenger load factor % Europe 63.0 10.2p 55.4 -9.1p
North Atlantic
Passengers 1,000 North Atlantic 11.8 100.0 24.1 -70.7
Available seat kilometres mill North Atlantic 304.6 100.0 654.6 -22.9
Revenue passenger kilometres mill North Atlantic 86.2 100.0 175.4 -72.9
Passenger load factor % North Atlantic 28.3 N/A 26.8 -49.4p
Passengers 1,000 Domestic 49.2 5.5 311.8 -55.2
Available seat kilometres mill Domestic 42.2 0.4 323.6 -52.0
Revenue passenger kilometres mill Domestic 30.2 14.4 206.1 -49.8
Passenger load factor % Domestic 71.6 8.8p 63.7 2.8p
Cargo Traffic
Europe tonnes 220.6 -37.2 1,495.8 -81.2
North Atlantic tonnes 1,706.3 100.0 4,051.0 59.4
Asia tonnes 2,998.4 34.5 20,621.9 -16.6
Domestic tonnes 28.2 11.4 216.1 -1.1
Cargo scheduled traffic total tonnes 4,953.5 90.1 26,384.7 -25.5
Cargo flights tonnes** 1,603.6 11.1 27,399.9 115.9
Cargo Traffic tonnes total 6,557.1 61.9 53,784.6 11.7
Available tonne kilometres* mill 66.4 81.9 495.9 -5.5
Revenue tonne kilometres mill 48.8 70.5 398.0 26.5
Available sched. cargo tonne kms* mill 50.9 127.7 241.5 -40.7
Revenue sched. cargo tonne kms mill 35.9 99.2 189.4 -14.9
Cargo load factor* % 73.5 -4.9p 80.2 20.3p
– North-Atlantic cargo load factor* % 63.9 N/A 67.8 1.5p
– Asia cargo load factor* % 83.3 -6.2p 85.6 26.5p
Scheduled traffic Cargo load factor* % 70.5 -10.1p 78.4 23.8p

* Based on average operational cargo capacity

** Including purchased traffic

  • Change %: Change compared to the figures of the respective periods in the previous year (p = points).
  • Available seat kilometres. ASK: Total number of seats available. multiplied by the number of kilometres flown.
  • Revenue passenger kilometres. RPK: Number of revenue passengers carried. multiplied by kilometres flown.
  • Passenger load factor: Share of revenue passenger kilometres of available seat kilometres.
  • Available tonne kilometres. ATK: Number of tonnes of capacity for carriage of passengers. cargo and mail. multiplied by kilometres flown.
  • Revenue tonne kilometres. RTK: Total revenue load consisting of passengers. cargo and mail. multiplied by kilometres flown.
  • Overall load factor: Share of revenue tonne kilometres of available tonne kilometres.

Top Copyright Photo: Finnair Airbus A321-231 WL OH-LZU (msn 8401) ZRH (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 954917.

Finnair aircraft slide show:

Wizz Air expands in Skopje and Ohrid

Wizz Air (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL HA-LXA (msn 6848) CFU (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 954825.

Wizz Air has announced four new routes from North Macedonia to Italy, Germany and Denmark – Skopje to Bologna and Turin– Italy, Skopje to Billund – Denmark, and Ohrid to Friedrichshafen, Germany. The first flights to all destinations will depart in December 2021.

The new routes will add up to the existing services already operated from both Skopje and Ohrid airports and will restate the airline’s commitment to offering Macedonian passengers flights to diverse destinations. The new services to Bologna, Turin, Friedrichshafen and Billund will start being operated thanks to the allocation of the 5aircraft to the Wizz Air base in Skopje.


Skopje – Bologna Wednesday, Sunday 19 December 2021 19.99 EUR / 1229 MKD
Skopje – Turin Tuesday, Saturday 18 December 2021 19.99 EUR / 1229 MKD
Skopje – Billund Thursday, Sunday 19 December 2021 19.99 EUR / 1229 MKD
Ohrid – Friedrichshafen Tuesday, Saturday 18 December 2021 19.99 EUR / 1229 MKD

* One-way price, including administration fee. One carry-on bag (max: 40x30x20cm) is included. Trolley bag and each piece of checked-in baggage is subject to additional fees. The price applies only to bookings made on wizzair.com and the WIZZ mobile app. Number of seats at indicated prices are limited.

The carrier is also adding new routes from Plovdiv.

Top Copyright Photo: Wizz Air (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL HA-LXA (msn 6848) CFU (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 954825.

Wizz Air aircraft slide show:

Finnair adds frequencies and routes to its network, with long-haul routes beginning in July

Finnair Airbus A321-231 WL OH-LZH (msn 5803) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 950083.

Finnair has made this announcement:

From July, Finnair will gradually add frequencies and routes back to its network. Finnair will review its schedule on a monthly basis and will update it as travel restrictions are removed and demand starts to recover.

”We expect aviation to recover gradually, starting in July”, says Finnair Chief Commercial Officer Ole Orvér. ”Our intention is to operate approximately 30% of our normal amount of flights in July, and we will also start long-haul flights to our key Asian destinations. We will then add routes and frequencies month by month as demand recovers.”

Finnair will flexibly add flights as demand develops. The flight schedule will also take into account the changes in travel restrictions in different countries.

Long-haul operations start from Asia

Finnair’s long-haul operations will commence in phases from July, with strong focus on Asia, which is strategically important for Finnair. Finnair will fly to Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai in Greater China (subject to government approval); to Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo Narita in Japan; and to Singapore, Seoul and Bangkok. Long-haul operations are supported by the cargo demand. In August, Finnair will start flights to Delhi and to New York, and in November to Tokyo Haneda airport. Finnair also has flights to Miami, Krabi and Phuket during the winter holiday season.

European operations serve key cities

On European routes, Finnair will first focus on key centres, and will in July fly to Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Geneva, Hamburg, London, Malaga, Manchester,  Moscow, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Riga, Tallinn, Stockholm, St Petersburg, Vilnius, Vienna and Zürich. In August Finnair will start flights to Barcelona, Milan, Madrid, Rome and Warsaw. During the summer holiday season Finnair will also operate individual flights to some of the holiday destinations in Southern Europe.

Domestic flying maintains key air connections

In July, Finnair will operate six domestic routes in Finland, flying to Kuopio, Mariehamn, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Turku and Vaasa. In August Finnair will start flying to Ivalo and Kittilä in the Finnish Lapland, and in September operations start to Kuusamo and Tampere. Finnair will not operate to Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Kemi or Kokkola during summer 2020. Decisions for these five destinations for winter 2020/2021 will be made later on, when there is more visibility to how the demand develops.

Flexibility for customers

Since March, Finnair has offered its customers extraordinary flexibility to change travel dates, and this continues. Customers can change their travel dates for all flights bought from Finnair’s own channels between 1 April and 30 June 2020 flexibly and travel within the ticket validity.

As Finnair publishes its flying schedule from July 2020 to end of March 2021, it is also cancelling those flights that will not be operating. Finnair will handle flight cancellations in phases, and customers will be contacted by the end of June about any cancelled flights they were booked onto.

A list of routes that Finnair will not operate during summer 2020 and winter 2020/2021 at all is available on Finnair’s Travel updates page.

Top Copyright Photo: Finnair Airbus A321-231 WL OH-LZH (msn 5803) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 950083.

Finnair aircraft photo gallery:

American introduces a “Stand Up to Cancer” Airbus A321

American's 2019 "Stand Up To Cancer" logo jet

American Airlines made this announcement:

September 20, 2019 marks the inaugural flight of the American Airlines official Stand Up To Cancer Airbus A321 (N162AA) that features 22,627 names of cancer survivors, patients and those we have lost to cancer. Names were submitted by the public throughout the month of July, all of whom donated $25 or more to have their loved one’s name added to the plane, resulting in more than $825,000 for cancer research.

Names include Patrick Swayze, a pilot himself, who was added to the plane by his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi Swayze. Among the names is also Tug McGraw, added by his son Tim McGraw, who lent his talent to promote the fundraising campaign in this year’s public service announcement.

To mark the inaugural flight of the freshly painted aircraft, American will whisk away a group of cancer survivors and caregivers from Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to Orlando International Airport (MCO). Upon arrival at LAX, guests will be welcomed by the Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders and mascot Rampage, and, while in flight, will be treated to entertainment by Big Machine recording artist Noah Schnackyand comedian Marina Franklin.

The volunteer flight crew for the inaugural flight all have a connection to cancer. One of the pilots will be American Airlines First Officer Brandon Bailey, who appeared in the Stand Up To Cancer PSA alongside Tim McGraw. Bailey Stands Up for his mother, Machelle, who faced cancer while Brandon was deployed to Afghanistan.

In Orlando, Hyatt will treat participants to weekend festivities by providing guestrooms and hotel experiences for the weekend at Hyatt Regency Orlando. Universal Orlando Resort will host guests to a day at the park and special VIP treatment.

This is the latest phase of American’s multiyear campaign with Stand Up To Cancer. The collaboration has raised more than $8 million for Stand Up To Cancer to help fund collaborative cancer research.

“It’s our company’s mission to care for people on life’s journey,” said Janelle Anderson, Vice President of Marketing at American. “When your family is facing cancer, it can be impossible to get away to focus on recharging and renewing your spirit. This weekend, American Airlines, Hyatt and Universal Orlando Resort joined forces to support Stand Up To Cancer and families affected by cancer to give them a much-needed weekend away.”

“Through this special collaboration, we’ve had the opportunity to deliver on Hyatt’s purpose to care for people so they can be their best,” said Steven Dominguez, Vice President of Global Brands at Hyatt. “We are excited to warmly welcome these VIP guests to Hyatt Regency Orlando and offer a stress-free stay that focuses on their comfort and well-being. This weekend is about celebrating and honoring families affected by cancer, and, alongside our friends at American Airlines and Stand Up To Cancer, we look forward to helping guests recharge and reconnect with one another.”

American’s official Stand Up To Cancer plane was unveiled to American Airlines team members at the company’s Base Maintenance facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma, yesterday. Over three days, Tech Ops – Tulsa team members carefully added 22,627 names to the aircraft exterior.

Once complete, the plane was ferried from Tulsa to LA for the inaugural flight. After the weekend concludes, the American Airlines’ official Stand Up To Cancer aircraft will re-enter American’s fleet.

“We are so honored by the tremendous number of people who participated in this innovative campaign to honor their loved ones and stand up to cancer,” said Rusty Robertson, co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer. “American Airlines continues to be an incredible supporter of Stand Up To Cancer, and we’re delighted that some of these amazing families will have the special opportunity to take this inaugural flight. Their incredible courage and indomitable spirit lift and inspire all of us.” Robertson added, “The critical dollars raised by this incredible campaign will help expand our mission to accelerate the pace of cutting-edge research and innovative cancer treatments to save lives now.”

Beginning today, donors who participated in this year’s campaign can visit a microsite to see the location of their submitted names on the plane.

Flight Attendant Dana Biegel honored her late husband, Capt. John Biegel, by adding his name to the official SU2C A321. See the moment she sees his name on the aircraft in her American Story.

About Stand Up To Cancer

Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by media and entertainment leaders who utilize these communities’ resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, to increase awareness about cancer prevention, and to highlight progress being made in the fight against the disease. As of June 2019, more than 1,600 scientists representing more than 180 institutions are involved in SU2C-funded research projects.

Under the direction of our Scientific Advisory Committee, led by Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., SU2C operates rigorous competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and ensure collaboration across research programs.

Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., serves as SU2C’s president and CEO. For more information, visit www.StandUpToCancer.org.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by American): American Airlines Airbus A321-231 WL N162AA (msn 6621) PHL (Stand Up To Cancer) PHL (Tony Storck). Image: 947693.

American Airlines aircraft slide show (Airbus):

Wizz Air to add two new routes from Southend and one from Luton

Wizz Air  (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL HA-LTC (msn 8295) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 946808.

Wizz Air has announced that from November, we will offer flights from London Southend to the popular Eastern European destinations of Bucharest in Romania and Vilnius in Lithuania plus a new service from London Luton to Castellon in Spain.

The new Southend services will operate starting from November 23, 2019 and the London – Castellon route commences on December 9, 2019.

Additionally the carrier has also announced it is adding two more Airbus A321 aircraft to the Vienna base, enabling the start of six new long-awaited services from Vienna to Athens, Castellon, Cologne, London-Luton, Prishtina and Tirana, and the increase of frequencies of our existing Lisbon and Tel Aviv routes.

The seventh aircraft joins the Vienna fleet on December 18, 2019 from when our Athens, Cologne, Prishtina and Tirana routes kick off and the eighth aircraft arrives on July 1, 2020 which marks the start of our Castellon and London services.

Finally Wizz Air has also announced the start of two new routes from Kutaisi to Bologna in Italy and Cologne (Köln) in Germany.

The route to Bologna starts on November 23, 2019 and to Cologne from July 1, 2020.

The airline has also announced the previously announced Kutaisi-Nice service to start on December 12, 2019 and to increase the frequency of the Kutaisi-Milan route to four services per week.

Top Copyright Photo: Wizz Air (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL HA-LTC (msn 8295) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 946808.

Wizz Air aircraft slide show:

Wizz Air expands in Vienna with a sixth aircraft

Wizz Air  (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL HA-LXR (msn 7647) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 946626.

Wizz Air has announced the allocation of a sixth aircraft to its Vienna base. The new Airbus A321 will join the fleet in the middle of December, enabling the start of six new long-awaited services from Vienna to Alicante, Bremen, Chisinau, Naples, Oslo and Porto and the increase of frequencies of the airline’s existing Eindhoven and Tel Aviv routes.

Wizz opened its Austrian base in Vienna International Airport in June 2018 and after only one year of successful operations, the airline announced further expansion, growing its fleet to six Airbus aircraft. Together with these six new services Wizz Air now offers 38 routes to 23 countries from Vienna.


New routes Frequency Start date Fares from*
Chisinau Monday, Friday 28 October 2019 EUR 19.99
Oslo Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday 16 December 2019 EUR 19.99/ 209 NOK
Alicante Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 17 December 2019 EUR 19.99
Bremen Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 17 December 2019 EUR 14.99
Naples Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 17 December 2019 EUR 19.99
Porto Wednesday, Sunday 18 December 2019 EUR 19.99

Wizz Air celebrated its 15th anniversary in May.

In other news, Wizz Air will become the biggest airline at London Luton Airport this summer.

The carrier will also add a new route from Vilnius – to Eilat in Israel.

Top Copyright Photo: Wizz Air (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL HA-LXR (msn 7647) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 946626.

Wizz Air aircraft slide show:

Wizz Air celebrates 200 million passengers flown in 15 years

Wizz Air  (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL HA-LXT (msn 7706) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 946587.

Wizz Air, the fastest growing airline in Europe, celebrated the 15th anniversary of its first flight as well as a remarkable milestone of 200 million carried passengers.

The very first Wizz Air flight took off on May 19, 2004 from Katowice to London Luton. Since then the airline has grown its fleet to 112 Airbus aircraft, including the modern state-of-the-art A321neo aircraft powered by two Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines, representing the most efficient single-aisle aircraft in the world. With the exemplary fuel economics and a 239 seat configuration, passengers, choosing to fly with Wizz Air’s A321neo benefit from Wizz Air’s lowest fares while ensuring that they are leaving the smallest environmental footprint per passenger.

Looking back on the past twelve months, Wizz Air has a lot to be proud of: WIZZ has pioneered air travel in Austria by setting up operations from Vienna International Airport; founded Wizz Air UK, a UK-based airline that will soon boast eleven brand new Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft in its fleet; welcomed the 100th aircraft to the WIZZ fleet, decorated with a special livery; opened the state-of-the-art, Budapest-based Training Centre, an investment of over €300 million; opened and commenced flights from the newest Polish WIZZ base in Krakow, as well as added two of the 256 next generation Airbus A321neo aircraft to the rapidly expanding WIZZ fleet.

During the 15 years in service Wizz Air gained trust and loyalty of 200 million passengers. WIZZ reached 100 million passengers in October 2015 and it took less than four years to double that amount. To mark this notable achievement, all passengers of the celebratory flight from Kyiv, Ukraine to Katowice, Poland were greeted by Wizz Air and Katowice International Airport management upon arrival with a small celebration on the ground and EUR 200 vouchers.

József Váradi, the Chief Executive Officer of Wizz Air said: “We operated our first flight in 2004 between Poland and the UK, and today, 15 years later, we celebrate a total of 200 million passengers carried from 146 airports across 44 countries. While it is undeniable that our people are the biggest driver of this achievement, there are also four key elements that have set WIZZ apart from our competitors and helped establish our unrivalled strategic position in Europe. Thanks to our exceptional ULCC business model, we are cost leaders in a commodity industry and one of the most valued airlines in Europe.

Our market leadership and increased focus on the CEE region gives us a unique advantage by allowing us to enter an underpenetrated market, in which we strive to get people into the franchise of flying, rather than compete for the passengers of existing airlines. We have an order of over 250 A321neo aircraft, an extremely valuable asset and a true game-changer for WIZZ, offering the lowest unit cost and environmental footprint per passenger, as well as reduced noise and NOX footprint.

Finally, our culturally diverse organization and leadership team, represented by over 50 nationalities, ensure that we have a truly global vision, take balanced decisions and swiftly adapt to changes in our environment. I thank our customers, partners and of course the WIZZ team for their trust and support during these 15 years behind us and can state without a doubt that we have an even more exciting 15 years ahead.”

Top Copyright Photo: Wizz Air (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL HA-LXT (msn 7706) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 946587.

Wizz Air aircraft slide show:


Spirit Airlines reports its first quarter 2019 results

Spirit Airlines Airbus A321-231 WL N661NK  (msn 6887) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 946286.

Spirit Airlines, Inc. today reported first quarter 2019 financial results.

First Quarter 2019 First Quarter 2018
As Reported Adjusted As Reported Adjusted
(GAAP) (non-GAAP)1 (GAAP) (non-GAAP)1
Revenue $855.8 million $855.8 million $704.1 million $704.1 million
Operating Income (loss) $87.8 million $89.7 million $(38.8) million $51.2 million
Operating Margin 10.3% 10.5% (5.5)% 7.3%
Net Income (loss) $56.1 million $57.5 million $(44.9) million $29.9 million
Diluted EPS $0.82 $0.84 $(0.66) $0.44

“Solid execution of our revenue initiatives and strong underlying demand trends drove adjusted diluted earnings per share growth of over 90 percent1 for the first quarter 2019 compared to the first quarter last year.  On capacity growth of 16.9 percent year over year, for the first quarter 2019, the team delivered a total revenue per available seat mile increase of 4.1 percent driven by improvements in both ticket and non-ticket yields.  We also ran a great operation during the quarter, improving our completion factor by 70 basis points to 98.9 percent despite more weather disruptions than the year prior and delivering an on-time performance of 82.6 percent2, which was among the best in the industry,” said Ted Christie, Spirit’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Revenue Performance
For the first quarter 2019, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $855.8 million, an increase of 21.5 percent compared to the first quarter 2018, driven by a 16.0 percent increase in flight volume and increases in both passenger yields and load factor.

Total operating revenue per available seat mile (“TRASM”) for the first quarter 2019 increased 4.1 percent compared to the same period last year.  During the first quarter 2019, the Company’s results continued to benefit from its ticket and non-ticket revenue initiatives.

On a per passenger flight segment basis, total revenue for the first quarter 2019 increased 1.6 percent year over year to $109.44 with fare revenue per passenger flight segment increasing 1.6 percent to $53.24 and non-ticket revenue per passenger flight segment increasing 1.6 percent to $56.203.  The improvement in non-ticket revenue per passenger segment year over year was largely driven by dynamic pricing initiatives and improved take rates of bundled service offerings.

Cost Performance
For the first quarter 2019, total GAAP operating expenses increased 3.4 percent year over year to $768.0 million.  Adjusted operating expenses for the first quarter 2019 increased 17.3 percent year over year to $766.1 million4.  Drivers of the increase in adjusted operating expense compared to the first quarter last year include higher flight volume, contracted pilot rate increases, airport rent and landing fee escalations, and higher depreciation expense.  On a GAAP basis, these increases were largely offset by lower special charges year over year.

Aircraft fuel expense increased in the first quarter 2019 by 12.2 percent year over year, due to a 15.6 percent increase in fuel gallons consumed.

Spirit reported first quarter 2019 cost per available seat mile (“ASM”), excluding special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”), of 5.46 cents4, an increase of 2.4 percent compared to the same period last year, primarily due to higher salaries, wages and benefits per ASM, largely driven by contracted rate increases pilots received effective March 1, 2018.  This increase was partially offset by lower aircraft rent per ASM and better operational performance.

“Strong revenue performance coupled with solid cost control helped produce a 320 basis point improvement in our adjusted operating margin for the first quarter 2019,” said Scott Haralson, Spirit’s Chief Financial Officer.  “We are continuing to capture the benefits of the hard work and dedication by all our team members to profitably grow our business, improve our brand image, execute on our plan to drive revenue improvement, and maintain an industry-leading cost position.  We are committed to keeping this momentum going and delivering strong returns for our shareholders.”

Spirit ended the first quarter 2019 with unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $1.2 billion.  Spirit generated $205.2 million of operating cash flow and ended first quarter 2019 with adjusted free cash flow of $163.8 million5.

Spirit took delivery of five new aircraft (one A320ceo and four A320neo) during the first quarter 2019, ending the quarter with 133 aircraft in its fleet.

During the quarter, Spirit continued its goal to broaden and diversify its network with new service from Austin and Indianapolis primarily to large leisure destinations.  Spirit also added new service between existing destinations, bringing its operation to over 600 daily flights to 75 destinations in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Route Map:

End Notes
(1)  See “Reconciliation of Adjusted Net Income, Adjusted Pre-tax Income, and Adjusted Operating Income to GAAP Net Income” table below for more details.
(2)  Preliminary data using DOT A:14 methodology.
(3)  See “Calculation of Total Non-ticket Revenue per Passenger Segment” table below for more details.
(4)  See “Reconciliation of Adjusted Operating Expense to GAAP Operating Expense” table below for   more details.
(5)  See “Reconciliation of Adjusted Free Cash Flow to GAAP Net Operating Cash Flow” table below for more details.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Spirit Airlines Airbus A321-231 WL N661NK (msn 6887) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 946286.

Spirit Airlines aircraft slide show:

JetBlue adds more routes and flights from Boston Logan

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321-231 WL N969JT (msn 7353) (Prism) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945820.

JetBlue Airways has announced the next phase of growth at Logan International Airport (BOS) as it advances toward its goal of 200 daily departures in the coming years.

Beginning this summer, JetBlue will add more flights on twelve popular routes while also expanding or adjusting schedules to offer hourly service to Washington, D.C. and the New York metro area. The move, which will benefit both leisure and business customers, is the latest in a series of growth announcements in Boston where JetBlue flies to more nonstop destinations, operates more flights and serves more travelers than any other airline.


More Flights to Top Destinations

JetBlue will phase in more flights over the summer and fall on twelve existing Logan routes stretching across the eastern half of the United States to/from:

With JetBlue’s low fares and award winning service on even more daily flights between Boston and these key markets, the airline advances its leadership position in New England and makes JetBlue’s Boston focus city even more accessible to travelers across the eastern half of the U.S.

Streamlined Schedules to Key Northeast Markets

JetBlue is also introducing enhanced schedules between Boston and two top northeast corridor business markets: Washington and New York City.

JetBlue is adding up to four additional daily flights between Logan and D.C.’s Reagan National Airport and will adjust its schedule to offer near-hourly weekday service – from 6 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. – between New England and the nation’s capital. The new service – with Boston flights departing at the top of the hour – is aimed at meeting the growing demand for travel between the two cities while also offering a customer-friendly, straight-forward departure schedule. Flights will be phased in beginning this summer with new flights on sale starting this weekend.

Similarly, JetBlue will also introduce near-hourly weekday service between Boston and the New York metro area with service between approximately 5:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Logan flights will depart at the bottom of the hour for one of the three major New York area airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). As New York’s Hometown Airline®, JetBlue’s unique service pattern is designed to meet the needs of travelers flying between Boston and anywhere across the New York metro area, whether it be Manhattan, the outer boroughs, Long Island or northern New Jersey. The flight schedule between New York and Boston will be phased in beginning this summer with new flights on sale starting this weekend.

Boston by the Numbers and Beyond

JetBlue first started service in Boston in January 2004, with 30 crewmembers, just one gate and 4,500 flights in the first year. But with the ‘JetBlue effect’ in action, the innovative airline shook up New England with its low-fare approach, driving down prices and introducing new nonstop destinations for Logan travelers.

Today, JetBlue – with award-winning service featuring the most legroom in coach (a); free Fly-Fi, the fastest broadband internet in the sky (b); complimentary and unlimited name-brand snacks and soft drinks; free, live DIRECTV® programming and 100+ channels of SiriusXM® radio at every seat – carries more customers than any other airline in Boston, operates nearly 55,000 annual departures at Logan and offers nonstop service to more than 70 destinations throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. Boston is also home to some 3,400 crewmembers.

Beyond the numbers, JetBlue has also helped bring new gates to Logan’s Terminal C, added the airline’s award-winning Mint premium service with lie-flat seating on a variety of routes, and introduced an array of unique destinations not served by any other airline – including recently launched flights to Havana, Cuba; Steamboat Springs, Colo.; and Palm Springs, Calif.

Later this year, JetBlue will take delivery of new, fuel-efficient A321neo aircraft, bringing another wave of cabin and comfort improvements along with additional range capabilities. Then, starting in 2020, JetBlue will also steadily replace its Embraer E190 fleet with the larger and more fuel-efficient Airbus A220, providing more seats in the market at a lower operating cost, and an improved onboard experience.

JetBlue has also built a rich portfolio of agreements with other international airlines at Logan that help connect customers to global destinations. Travelers can connect to cities around the world on JetBlue partners such as Emirates, El Al, Aer Lingus, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

JetBlue’s commitment to Boston extends well beyond its presence at Logan. JetBlue is a proud sponsor of the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Marathon, TD Garden and the New England Patriots. The local JetBlue team has also contributed thousands of hours to support numerous community organizations in the greater Boston area.

Top Copyright Photo: JetBlue Airways Airbus A321-231 WL N969JT (msn 7353) (Prism) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945820.

JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show: